Thanks to you, the readers and fans of Gnome Stew and Engine Publishing, we took home not one but two Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (ENnies) this year — and not silver, but gold in both cases! Your votes earned the Stew and our second book, Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game, two gold awards: Best Blog for Gnome Stew and Best Aid/Accessory for Masks. (Masks was also nominated for Product of the Year, a category shared by Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and the Pathfinder Beginner Box, which we were more than happy to lose to!)
I was a bundle of nerves at the ceremony, and I don’t think I was the only one. Best Blog came up early on, and the awards are announced silver first, gold second, so we were hoping not to see Gnome Stew pop up for silver — but when it didn’t, terribly nervous that it wouldn’t pop up for gold, either! Phil gave an excellent acceptance speech and we wrapped up the first half of the ceremony in high spirits.
When Best Aid/Accessory rolled around — our first potential ENnie Award for something we charge money for, and for a physical book — the sphincters (well, at least mine!) tightened up again. Here seeing Masks pop up for silver would have been amazing, and personally I thought if we had a shot, it was at silver. My loud “Oh, fuck!” when gold came up was said with a mixture of Holy shit I can’t believe that just happened and This is an amazing capstone for months of work by a team of over 20 people, and was totally heartfelt. Don gave a note-perfect acceptance speech for this one.
Here’s most of the gang just after the ceremony, standing outside the incredible Union Station grand hall. Left to right: Darren Hardy (honorary gnome, and the graphic designer of the previous iteration of the website as well as all three of our books, the Gnome Stew and Engine Publishing logos, and so much more), Walt Ciechanowski, Phil Vecchione, Patrick Benson, Martin Ralya, Matthew Neagley (rear), John Arcadian, Robert Everson, and Don Mappin. Missing were Kurt Schneider (who was playing in a very unique event, and made the first half but missed the second) and the two gnomes who didn’t attend the con this year, Scott Martin and Troy Taylor.
In closing, I’d like to thank you, our readers, again for voting for and supporting the site, our books, and our general craziness over the past four years. I’d also like to thank Adam Nave, who was one of the original co-founders of the Stew, and the entire team who worked on Masks — notably those not represented above: Dan Von Holten, Sara DeNunzio, Brian Nowak, Christopher Reach, Avery Liell-Kok, Andrew McIntosh, Matt Morrow, Peter Szmer, Daniel Milne, and Samuel Mustain — as well as C.M. Cline, the author of the Dragon Magazine article that inspired the book.
You, as ever, rock. Thank you!